There were 171 Charter Members on roll at the beginning of Grace in 1956. One of them was Clint Sykes who has been part of, or witnessed, our story to date. He was Congregational Secretary and Recording Steward of the Official Board for the first 31 years, a tenor in the choir for all 50, an Elder and Sunday School teacher. He is still active in committee work. We asked him to go down memory lane and remind us of our roots and up-bringing. These are his recollections.

It Was Like This


Clint Sykes, Charter Member

By the Rev. Doug Greenough

I was told by a charter member that when they were choosing a name for the church it was finalized to two names - St. James United Church and Grace United Church, the latter suggested by Clint Sykes. Who incidentally, shortly after Church Union in 1925, had been baptized in Grace now United Church? The name of Grace was chosen for the new congregation – Grace United Church in Sarnia.

In the early years when I arrived in 1980, Sarnia was demographically a city with many younger families. i.e. To mention one change we had three cub packs, now only one cub pack with 12 members. Statistics matched across the city. In those years Grace was a very busy place bursting with activities.

by Ted West  (January 2003)

Listen to the Chimes

When the young people and choir presented the Christmas musical, “Why the Chimes Rang”, this past December, I started to think about a parallel situation which we have here at Grace. I began to wonder about how many people in our congregation really know “Why Our Chimes Ring” every Sunday morning. I was particularly amazed when Pat Morrison recently mentioned to me that he didn’t even know we had an outdoor chime system – and he has been at Grace for almost six years. It has really been quite a low key operation, but I feel it is time to document the “history of the chimes” – it does not show up in our abbreviated version of the Grace United History which can be found in our 1996 photo directory.

Grace United Church was founded in 1956. While many other churches are older, the changes that have occurred in the congregation since that time are amazing. This is one attempt to compile this rich history.  It was last updated in March, 2011.

From our Founding, 1956 to 2011

The first members received into a pastoral charge are referred to as "Charter Membres." This is the list of names as it appeared in the bulletin at the first communion service on January 20, 1957 (with minor typo corrections).